Maricopa County couples who are contemplating ending their marriages often face a wide array of emotions, and this can lead to wanting to get the process over with as quickly as possible. This might end up being a mistake, however, especially for those who have a significant amount of assets, because planning for the financial consequences in advance can be a crucial part of a divorce.
Having a financial adviser throughout the process is recommended for both parties, particularly one who is experienced in analyzing the issues that are important in a divorce. These can include appraisals of family businesses and art collections, spousal and child support, the impact on Social Security retirement benefits, life and health insurance policies, estate planning, post-divorce budgeting, investments and charitable gift planning. A certified divorce financial analyst will work closely with each party’s respective divorce and estate planning attorneys and will obtain pertinent information from financial institutions and certified public accountants.
The next step will be to prepare a list of all current assets and liabilities. If one of the estranged spouses plans on keeping the marital home, then a determination will need to be made as to whether refinancing will be necessary. Any salary increases as well as projected investment returns should also be taken into account. Ultimately, a comprehensive settlement agreement will be negotiated based on all of this information.
Of course, if the couple has one or more minor children, then the settlement agreement will also need to address custody and visitation and other parenting issues. The couple’s respective family law attorneys may assist in all of these negotiations.